En La Reflexión (In reflection)


Credit: Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE

Fall is here, the Jays lost season is almost over, and Yunel is back to playing baseball at the Skydome. Like usual, the blogosphere’s hyper-inflated cycle of rage and speed chewed up and spat out the eye-liner story faster than Escobar’s short three game suspension.

While I don’t want to prod a dead-corpse, I do think it is a good time to sit back and reflect now that everyone’s emotions have died down a little.

Even if he didn’t do it well I believe that the point that Alex Anthopolous was trying to make with the Escobar situation is that Homophobia is a serious issue and it wasn’t being treated as such.

Yes, I like A.A. Yes, I think he is the best GM the Jays have had in the past ten years. Yes, I believe in his plan and his vision for the club. But, none of that matters here. This wasn’t about the Toronto Blue Jays and that is the point that A.A. was trying to make.

Maybe you believe that this was a clubhouse issue, but are you really cynical enough to believe that if any of the management saw what was written on Escobar’s face that they wouldn’t have stopped him. Even if they agreed with the sentiments of the message, someone would know what the fallout of homophobic slurs on a ball-players face would be.

Maybe you believe that the punishment wasn’t harsh enough, but what is the proper punishment for homophobia? Ball-players are not going to be fired for this act nor should they. Firing Escobar doesn’t solve the problem, especially if other players saw what was written and didn’t speak up because they agreed with the sentiments.

In case you woke up with the howling over Yunel’s face paint, homophobia exists in society and it exists in sports. That is the environment that we all live in. Do you realize that not one professional athlete in any of the major sports has come out of the closet? I would love it if all of the stat geeks and nerds would crunch those numbers. What is the probability that not one professional athlete is gay?

While owners in every sport lock-out their players to squeeze extra dollars out of them we are dealing with either a larger statistical anomaly than the Baltimore Orioles reaching the playoffs or sports in general are behind the times.

To be honest, I wasnt particularly interested in the ‘Escobar situation’ because it had been blown way out of proportion to the point where it was more about the media, the blogs, and the news cycle than it was about homophobia.

I wish I could believe in Gregg Zaun and his ilk that were on their blow-horns. But, if this is about homophobia then let’s talk to the real experts on the issue. If this is about the clubhouse atmosphere how come I didn’t hear a whisper about these issues until Escobar painted his face?

This whole tirade was initiated by a sports analyst whose day-in and day-out opinions and broadcasting sound like they come from Blue Jays press releases. On a dime, he decides to turn on his critical mind and he trashes the organization for season(s)-long trends that he hadn’t mentioned until that day and all of it in the name of a homophobic slur? Puh-lease, I just didn’t see any credibility there.

The Jays organization under A.A. has made mistakes. John Farrell has made mistakes. I have a laundry list of baseball related mistakes that have been made this year. I can add managerial issues as well (what is with the Omar Vizquel obsession? Why are we using closer roles instead of high leverage reliever roles? REALLY, WHY?).

But, be consistent. Criticize them as they happen. Don’t unveil all of your criticisms at once while using an incident of homophobia to trash an organization. It kills your credibility.

I am glad that we are back to talking about baseball and watching Yunel on the field.  This episode wasn’t about the Toronto Blue Jays and the way it evolved it certainly wasn’t been about homophobia.